Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dental Phobia-A Very Common Fear

To begin, I think it's important to note that dental phobia is a very common affliction, with over 80% of the population having at least some level of anxiety and fear over dental procedures. So, to the dental phobics out there, please know that you are not alone!! Conversely, a higher percentage of women have reported having dental phobia than men. (Ok, I'll admit that this statistic surprised me just a little!) Having worked in this industry for the past 18 years, it occurred to me to write on this topic because I have witnessed so many people who have been diagnosed as needing major restorative work all because they were afraid to see a dentist for preventative care. Many have avoided seeing a dentist for 15 or 20 years! Anyway, I did a little hunting on the web and found some interesting ideas for overcoming dental phobias.

  • The first, and I think most important thing, is to find a dentist you can trust. The best method for this is word of mouth. Talk to a trusted friend or co-worker, or ask family member for a referral. Chances are if they've had a good experience, you will too.

  • Proceed with treatment at your own speed. (Except in the case of an emergency, of course.) Do not allow yourself to be rushed into treatment before you are ready. Mental preparation is important to your dental experience. Discuss all options with your dentist prior to the treatment. Knowing what to expect goes a long way toward relaxation.

  • Try to bring a spouse or trusted friend with you for treatment. Sometimes just knowing someone is there (even if they stay in the waiting room) can help to relax you and put your mind at ease. Also, sometimes talking about your fears with that person can help to alleviate and irradicate the jitters. You might even be surprised to learn that they have similar fears!

  • Predetermine a "stop signal" with your dentist. Most people will just raise a hand....that seems to be the most common signal, but the important thing is that he (the dentist) needs to know if you are experiencing discomfort at any level. Sometimes all that is required is to stop for a moment and let the feeling pass, or if you are in pain, to administer more anesthetic.

  • Bring an MP3 player or CD player with headphones to distract you. Music calms the soul, and consequently the mind and body. If you are in to motivational CD's or inspirational types of listening material, that is helpful as well. Many of the new state of the art dental facilities already have these things available.

These are just a few of the ideas that are available on the internet to help overcome your fear of the dentist. Hope this was helpful! Please comment if you have additional ideas that you think may help others. Keep Smiling!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Get Shades Whiter!

What is the Zoom Whiting all about?
Zoom Whiting is a bleaching process that lightens the discoloration of enamel.

What is the process for the procedure?
First you will begin with a short preparation to cover your gums and lips leaving only your teeth exposed. Next the assistant will apply a whiting gel all over your teeth, then will apply the light. Now is the time to sit back and relax.

How long is the procedure?
This procedure will last a total of 45 min. Three 15 min. sessions. Between each session the assistant will reapply the whiting gel.

Are there any side effects?
Some people may experience sensitivity. on rare occasions tingling may occur after the treatment. You can ask your dentist to prescribe a anti-sensitivity toothpaste before the

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dental Specialists:What Does Each One Do?Part 2

The question that is most often asked, is, "Which type of dentist should I see if I need Implants?"
Dental Implants can be done by 3 types of dentists.

* Oral Surgeons
* Periodontists
* General Practitioners*

Prosthodontists are usually called upon to do the final restoration for implants, which involves setting the crown on an implant.
*Not ALL general practitioners can do implants. They are capable only if they have had the advanced training required.
Implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss...they are better supported than dentures. The procedure is invasive, however, and depending on the patient and the structure of the patients' jawbone, there are 2 types of implants available; full standard implants and mini implants.
Here is a link to an article that explains the difference between a mini implant and a standard implant.
Keep smiling!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dental Specialists-What Does Each One Do? Part 1

A common question posed to those of us in the dental industry is "why do I need a specialist?"
It is a common occurrence for a general dentist to refer a patient to a specialist if the work needed is outside the realm of his expertise. Many people assume that all dentists should be capable of fixing every problem, regardless of the level of difficulty, however, this is simply not the case. While it is true that general practitioners are trained in all aspects of the field, some have had advanced training in specific areas, and others have gone on to a higher level of training and received a certificate to practice a specialty. You wouldn't trust your heart to a foot doctor, would you? Just as the medical profession has Cardiologists and Podiatrists and Opthamologists, the dental industry has many different fields as well.
Below are the different types of dental specialties, along with a brief explanation for what their function is.
* Endodontist - An endodontist is skilled at root canals. Their mission is aimed at saving teeth, as opposed to having them extracted.
* Oral Surgeon - Oral Surgeons extract wisdom teeth or other "problem teeth", place implants, treat TMJ, repair fractures and other injuries to the jawbone and facial bone structure. Some are even qualified to perform cosmetic surgery. This type of surgeon is called an Oral/Maxillofacial Surgeon.
*Orthodontist - An Orthodontist does braces. Their mission is to repair the bite and adjust misaligned teeth.
*Periodontist - A periodontist treats the gums and tissues of the mouth, and also places implants. Their job is most important for preventing loss of teeth by keeping the mouth clean and free of bacterial disease, which is a leading cause of tooth loss.
*Pedodontist - A Pedodontist treats all aspects of children's teeth.
*Prosthodontist - A Prosthodontist is skilled at crowns, bridges, dentures and the final restoration of implants.

In part 2 of this blog I will address which doctors are qualified to do implants.

Until then,

Keep Smiling!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is teeth whitening safe?

I have heard stories on how it is not good for your teeth as whitening them can strip the enamel. I did some searching around on line and most articles I have read said it "is" safe to whiten your teeth as long as it is done with the right amount of carbamide peroxide. Most teeth whitening systems use 10% carbamide peroxide trays and with that amount it is safe and effective. So just make sure you know what your using when you get them done.

Re-Post from btlfbutterfly77 on 02/21/08

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